Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chapter Two

If you were perplexed my tale of "hit and run", wait until you hear Chapter Two.
You might remember that my car was totaled on a Thursday afternoon. On the same street corner as my wreck, on the very next Tuesday morning, I spotted a TV remote truck and police cars.
My first thought was that my poor old Oldsmobile had made the local news. Havalina (the deceased car's name) had maybe become a celebrity, in the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood.
In reality, a violent murder had occurred on the very corner that my car had met her demise. It was a case of domestic violence, and I am sure many lives have been altered by the act of one unhappy person.
Chapter Two made the events of Chapter One seem terribly insignificant. What is one ruined car compared to a human life? Well, you really can't compare them. Tragic.

Lord God. Life is so precious. When we are young we think we are going to live forever. As we age, we realize that we all have such a short time here. Help us to always do right. Help us to show others that we care. Help us to protect those we love. Give us patience.
We honor you and your creations.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Here today, gone by 4:30.

My car was totaled on Thursday. I parked in my normal spot about 1:30 p.m., and went into the office to finish some paper work. About a quarter after four, I went back outside, intending to drive home. On approaching my vehicle, I noticed a pile of something in the street beside it. As I got closer, I realized the pile was actually the crumpled back end of my car. Someone had hit my fully paid for, rusty, thirteen year old car. Hit it hard enough to knock off quite a bit of metal (it was an old car, folks), and then drive off.
I was immediately very thankful that I was not in the car at the time of the accident. The policeman and the tow guy were very nice. My co-workers helped me gather my belongings and take them back to my office. Scott came over to take me home. All in all, for a car wreck, the whole experience didn't even reach 5 on a scale of one to ten.
But, what kind of person, does damage and then drives off? What prompts a person to leave behind damage that they know they have caused, without so much as a "Hey, I'm sorry."? Maybe the driver was in a stolen car. Maybe he or she didn't have insurance or maybe they had a body or drugs in the back of their car.
So, I'm trying to be forgiving, but the truth we don't have the time or the money to buy another car. However, the bottom line is.......I'm okay and it's just stuff. I'll get over it.

Dear Lord, You spend a lot of time forgiving us. We mess up all the time. You accept our faults and allow us to move on. We should try to be more like you. We need always to forgive(even if we don't want to). Teach us forgiveness.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To Flash or Not to Flash!

Last night, I attended a gathering of "grandma-agers". A topic of discussion was the recent flash mobs of teens, creating havoc, at a local shopping area. The newspaper had reported children, as young as eleven, being dropped off by adults and left to roam the area in gangs. The kids were there until the wee hours of the morning. One of them was a recent shooting victim.
As we continued to discuss the situation, we all related how we, as moms, had refused to drop off our pre-teenagers at the Mall. That was way back in the 70s and 80s. Every one of our kids had whined to us that "all the other kids are doing it." Well, each of us had been wise to that trick.
Here is how we solved the issue.
One mom said, "I asked for a list of names", and of course the child couldn't come up with a single one. Another queried, "Where's your money? You can't go unless you're going to buy something." While another said her kid could go, but only by herself, and that she would have to walk!
There, urban parents, that's your solution to roving gangs of pre-teens. Very simple. Keep them home and occupied. Don't contribute to the problem by escorting them to the scene of the crime.
The grandmas have spoken.

Good Lord. Aren't you amazed out how totally clueless your creations are? And, yet you continue to bless all of us. You have given us free will and the brains to figure things out. We should be thankful.
We are smart, but painfully unwise.
Guide us in what we do.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pie not?

It's August, and the craft stores are already displaying fall and winter merchandise.
Aisles are bursting with colorful Autumn leaves and artificial Christmas Trees. It seems early, but apparently there are many folks who are happiest when they are in the midst of preparation...of any kind.
So, I offer a few words on pumpkins. Pumpkins are grown everywhere in the world, except Antarctica. They are used for decoration, for eating and for cooking pots.
In America we use them to make pies. More correctly, some of us take a can of pumpkin and add milk, sugar, eggs, and spices to concoct a pie filling. We also need to make or purchase a pastry pie shell and whipped cream, or its substitute, to top-off the cooked pie.
Delicious eating and it's so traditionally American.
But, the appeal of pumpkin pie is limited. Immigrants and refugees really don't like it. Further more, they do not know what to do with numerous cans of pumpkin puree that they are "given" at holiday time.
Think about this. What can a refugee family, from Somalia, do with a can of pumpkin....if they have no eggs, milk, sugar or spices? Right. Not a thing. And, then think about the skill of using an oven. Oh, wow!
So, don't even consider bringing a can of pumpkin to a charitable food drive.
Try beans, corn, rice, canned milk, tuna or macaroni and cheese, instead.

Lord. We sincerely want to help others. But, help us to understand that not everyone thinks and acts like we do. Show us ways to be generous in a common sense way. Help us to appreciate what the needy might really want.
We are truly blessed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The best laid plans........

Part of my job is planning events where groups of volunteers gather together to wrap holiday packages. The packages are later distributed to needy clients. Therefore, I try to encourage groups to come to our facilities to have wrapping "parties." They come and I agree to provide water and snacks, the gifts, the paper, the scissors, the tape and a place to do it all.
It takes quite a bit of planning. I have to arrange for the items to be brought from storage and for the wrapped items to be returned to storage. The room has to be arranged for the wrapping assembly line, and the groups need to have everything they need, including directions to our building and space for parking.
I've been scheduling the wrappers since February, and I receive calls or emails daily from both church and corporate groups, wanting to come and wrap. Groups have come from Minnesota, Mississippi, Colorado and every part of Kansas and Missouri. I fit them into my Volunteer Calendar, and it's starting to fill up. I have just a few open dates between now and December.
Last week, I was informed that the space we've been using to wrap is no longer available. Well, that was a problem I had not anticipated. So, I arranged for another space, and rescheduled many of the groups. Today, I found out, quite by chance, that now, I could not use that building.
Needless to say, I am frustrated. Really frustrated.
But,as we say in the Midwest....."there you go." Since, I am powerless in this situation, I have to buck up and move to Plan C. Frankly, I don't have a Plan C, but I am sure God will provide.
Life is like that, fellow travelers.

Dear God. You never promised us that our lives would be without trials. Put your arms around us and help us face our problems. We can accomplish anything with your help and guidance.